India, Afghanistan to discuss terror on Monday
New Delhi: Terrorism in the region, security situation and status of the peace process in Afghanistan are some of the crucial issues to be discussed in the first session of the India-Afghanistan Partnership Council to be held here during the visit of Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul from Monday.
The Council, which is the nodal point to coordinate with various ministries of the two countries as envisaged under the Strategic Partnership Agreement between them, will be co-chaired by Rassoul and his Indian counterpart SM Krishna.
The inaugural session of the Partnership Council will be preceded by a meeting of the Joint Working Group on Political and Security Consultations headed by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin.
During his visit, Rassoul will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and will also hold meetings with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the National Security Adviser.
"The visit forms part of the high-level engagement between the two countries and provides an opportunity for both countries to review and consolidate the implementation of their strategic partnership," Ministry of External Affairs said on Saturday.
According to officials, the meeting of the Council will also provide a roadmap for the future and coordinate efforts between various ministries and agencies of the two countries.
They said the Afghan side is also expected to brief the leaders here on the status of the peace process and security situation apart from spelling out Kabul`s stand on various issues which will figure in the upcoming Chicago meet. The meeting on the war-torn country will also ponder upon the withdrawal of West forces from Afghanistan by 2014.
The Partnership Council will also take stock of the various initiatives taken under the landmark Strategic Partnership Agreement between India and Afghanistan during President Hamid Karzai`s visit here in October 2011.
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